Monday, February 15, 2010

Radical Radish

On it's own, the white radish is pretty unspectacular, don't you think? I always thought the white raddish (looks like a carrot, but white and broader) a bit too pungent for my liking. And though my mum kept drumming it into me that its one of the healthiest vegetables around; i was adamant and when she cooked them -- curry style -- with carrots, I'd pick out the carrots and leave the raddish behind for my brother.

So, imagine my surprise when I found out that the primary ingredient of one of my favourite Chinese dish (it's part of the large dim sum spread) is the raddish cake or lo bak ko is in fact WHITE RADDISH.


Also, raddish is the main ingredient in kueh kak, another of my favourites. It's preparation is simmilar to that of the lo bak ko .

So maybe I like lo bak ko when its prepared rather unhealtily (with lots of rice flour and, most importantly, deep fried).

Anyways, after my success at making kueh kak (it took two attempts), I decided to try making lo bak.

Though the basic recipe is the same as the kueh kak, there are some differences. Firstly the seasoning. Instead of soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar I added chilli powder, five spice powder, salt and pepper for the lo bak.
The batter is also different. The lo bak mix has wheat starch and no bicarb soda. They both had a drip (just 1/8 tsp) of borax though.
You also add fried shallots and chopped dried shrimp for the lobak. I substituted the shrimp with lightly sauted shitake mushrooms, diced very small.

The radish cake is usually eaten with chilli sauce and hoisin sauce but I like to eat them as they are. In fact, I like to eat the fried cakes cold.

Lo Bak ko

250 g white raddish, sliced very thin
250 gms rice flour
50 gms wheat starch
1/2 cup lightly fried finely diced shitake mushroom
1/2 cup fried shallots (should be golden)
300 ml COLD water
500 ml BOILING water

1-2 tbsp Oil for frying
1/2 tbsp veg stock granules
1/2 tbsp chillip powder
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp salt

1.Heat oil and fry raddish with seasoning till well combined, abour 5 - 7 mins. Set aside.
2. Put rice flour, wheat starch, mushroom and fried shallots in a mixing bowl. Gradually pour in COLD water and mix till you get a smooth batter. No lumps.
3. Add boiling water and beat till mixture is half cooked. Add fried raddish mixture and stir well.
4. Pour into round tray and steam for 45 mins.
5. Remove and let cool. When cool, keep overnight in fridge.

Cut the cake into slices and deep fry. Forget about the calories, it's worth it.
Serve with chilli sauce + hoisin sauce or enjoy on its own.


  1. A little bit of Borat goes a long way, eh?

    Oooo... I love lo bak ko, too ('lo bak' just means radish, heh heh). You make my mouth water.
    But here tadak Borat mali...

  2. I'd send it to you but it may be confiscated!

  3. Yeah, the Customs officers might think it's some kind of new trendy drug.

    By the way, there's a marijuana leaf tea sold in supermarkets here. In a nice cardboard 'can'. But probably can't get high from drinking it - unless I drink 10 litres.


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